In late 1842, seven years after Tasmanian pastoral prospectors first claimed these Kulin lands, the township of Melbourne was formally incorporated. Newly elected councillors designed an impressive coat of arms to represent the anticipated economic prosperity of the new town: wool, whale oil and animal fat, and a shipping industry.
This exhibition explores the symbolism of this design – its evolution; past use on bureaucratic paperwork through to illuminated addresses and medals; its continuing (if often-unnoticed) presence around the city; and contemporary responses in newly commissioned works of art.
The exhibition includes new contemporary commissions by Angela Brennan, Yhonnie Scarce and Gerry Wedd.
About the curator:
Alisa Bunbury is a curator fascinated by the history of Melbourne. She also currently cycles dangerously as she searches passing buildings for signs of coats of arms. She has previously been a curator at the Art Gallery of South Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria, and is currently employed at the University of Melbourne as well as in diverse freelance work.